The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) estimates it will spend £400m to refund SMEs that were referred to, and claimed to be pushed into administration by, its Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
With the agreement of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) the bank will implement a new complaints review process overseen by Sir William Blackburne, a retired high court judge.
The SME customers affected between 2008 and 2013 will now be able to make a formal complaint and RBS said it will provide automatic refunds for complex fees to some of the customers.
Ross McEwan, chief executive of RBS, said: “Although the FCA review into the historical operation of GRG continues, we believe that now is the right time to deal with the areas where we accept some customers were let down in the past.”
In January 2014 the FCA appointed Promontory Financial Group, with the assistance of its sub-contractor Mazars, to review the bank’s treatment of SMEs in its GRG division.
The final report, provided in September this year, concluded RBS had placed an undue focus on pricing increases and debt reduction without due consideration to the longer term viability of customers.
However, the report found that the bank did not set out to artificially engineer a position to cause or facilitate the transfer of a customer (SME) to GRG.